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We need restaurants. They provide us with great eating options, fine dining when the mood strikes, and an excuse not to cook dinner every night. Not to mention, they offer job opportunities and help keep our communities thriving.
Right now, a lot of restaurants are trying to figure out ways to continue making money and keep their staff employed while having their doors shut. It’s a scary obstacle that leads to a lot of uncertainty and guesswork. The good news is there are ways to help small businesses in these trying times. And, there are strategies restaurants can implement that will help them keep their lights on, so when the COVID-19 pandemic is over, they can get back to business as usual.
Everyone is consumed with practicing adequate hygiene. The key to keeping ourselves and others safe is to regularly wash our hands, maintain proper distance, and wipe down surfaces. If you want people to feel good about supporting your restaurant right now, set their minds at ease by posting the precautions your team is taking to ensure they don’t pass germs. Post these measures on your social media channels and your website so that they’re front and center. And if you need some helpful tips and rules for your staff, head over to the CDC’s website for ways to protect yourself.
A lot of restaurants use delivery services, like Postmates or GrubHub. But if you haven’t jumped on those trains yet, make sure you establish a way for your restaurant items to be delivered. With everyone being told to stay inside as much as possible, they won’t be venturing out to pick up things as much. Having a plan in place so that you can bring your food to them will be so much more convenient and encourage everyone to stay safe.
Most restaurants already offer a pick-up option. But during the pandemic, it’s important to have a very particular procedure in place that ensures the safety of everyone involved. Make sure you find a no-contact way for your restaurant items to be transferred from your staff to your customers. Provide your staff with gloves and make sure they know which vehicles should receive which orders. It also doesn’t hurt to have a designated area for vehicles to park for their pick-up orders.
If sales are slowing down and you’re worried about your food supplies going bad, create bundles. If you have a special pizza recipe or great bread that your customers love, measure out the ingredients, and package them up, along with a detailed recipe. Your customers can buy these bundles and make your great dishes from the comfort and safety of their own homes. This method is great for ensuring you aren’t wasting any of your fresh ingredients and gives customers something fun to do while they’re cooped up inside.
Sometimes people need a little extra incentive to make a purchase worth it. And right now, incentives can be your best friend. Provide your customers with a little added push by taking your prices down a notch. This can help lead to more sales, but it will also be doing your customers a solid since money is tight for a lot of people right now.
You probably already have gift cards, but make sure you have a dependable supply. A lot of people still want to support their favorite restaurants, and even though they can’t dine in right now, they eventually will be able to (hopefully sooner rather than later). So provide them with the option to buy gift cards so they can buy them now and treat themselves later.
We hope the tactics above give you a few ideas that will help you continue to generate revenue for your restaurant. Let us know if you’re trying anything else and would like to share it for others to try as well.
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